From textiles to space-saving tips, here’s how to style your living room furniture like a pro
1 of 10
Thomas J. Story
If your sofa is a solid color, consider adding graphic or patterned pillow designs for a touch of art. If your sofa fabric is patterned or graphic itself, go with solid colors to ground it.
2 of 10
White upholstery helps a small space feel larger, or a dark space feel brighter. Give it some dimension by adding graphic and/or textured pillow and blanket accents. Extend this style to the whole room through rugs and window shades.
3 of 10
Save space with a sectional
Typically, we consider sectional sofas only for large living spaces, but they can live large in small spaces too. This built-in sofa can seat 10-12 people (and can sleep a few overnight) because it maximizes the room perimeter space.
4 of 10
Make a blanket statement
Tuck a blanket (or textile remnant) around the bottom or back cushion of a leather sofa for a soft and warm look and feel. This is also a great trick for concealing a stained or damaged cushion. If your sofa is floating away from a wall, simply hang the blanket over the back. Swap out the fabric with the seasons, or whenever you desire a refresh.
5 of 10
Photo by Jennifer Cheung; written by Sharon Cohoon
Style a bench
Add firm pillows (or multiple soft-fill pillows) to bench seating to create an inviting lounge area outside. Invest in pillows with outdoor fabric, or simply pull some from inside for temporary use.
6 of 10
Photo by Ericka McConnell
Accent a daybed
Prop firm pillows against the walls of a cornered upholstered daybed for a cozy nap nook any time of year. No daybed? This same tactic works for a large upholstered ottoman or even a covered twin mattress.
Small spaces demand hardworking furniture. In this live-work home, a midcentury Hans Wegner daybed functions as a living room sofa, a guest bed for visitors, and "conference room" seating for business meetings. Keep pillows and blankets simple so they serve all purposes.
9 of 10
Thomas J. Story
Take it outside
You can never have too many cushions outside. Layer a mix of firm and soft pillows (covered with outdoor fabric) on outdoor seating. For bigger parties, the large, firm pillows can double as additional seating on the ground.
10 of 10
Photo by John Granen
Play with pattern
Don't be afraid to mix pattered pillows on a solid color sofa. Here, stripes and floral designs mingle for a fresh spring look. In winter, swap these out for darker-hued pillows and throws.